Registering Your Intent to Donate Organs and Tissue

What is an Organ and Tissue Intent to Donate Registry?

An Organ and Tissue Intent to Donate Registry is a place for people to record their willingness to donate organs and tissues if they are qualified to be a potential donor at the time of their death. Health care professionals access the information on the registry if your death is imminent and this information is shared with your family if it is you are determined to be a potential organ or tissue donor.

Why should I register to be an organ and tissue donor?

Many lives could be saved if you consent to donate your organs (heart, liver, pancreas, small bowel, kidneys, and lungs) after your death. Donating tissues like skin, bone, tendons, corneas, whole eyes and heart valves can enhance the life of someone who has been burned, or who has vision or mobility problems. 

Did you know?

  • One donor can provide up to 75 tissue grafts
  • Sclera tissue is used in reconstructive eye surgery
  • Corneas offer sight restoration to those with corneal disease or injury, and one donor can provide corneas to two patients
  • Heart valves can save the life of someone with a faulty heart valve
  • Skin grafts can save the life of a critically burned patient
  • Tendons restore mobility and function to joints damaged by age, disease, or injury
  • Bone grafts are utilized in orthopedic procedures like hip replacements, spinal surgery, limb salvage, and repair of traumatic injuries

What if I have already indicated that I want to be a donor on my driver's license or PEI Health Card?

In the past, Islanders could indicate their intention to be a donor by having a red heart embossed on their driver’s licence and by putting a red sticker on the back of their PEI Health Card.  Islanders are encouraged to register on the PEI Intent to Donate Registry because these methods of indicating your preference are no longer in place.

The PEI Department of Motor Vehicles stopped embossing the red hearts on driver’s licences in late 2016. As of December 2019, there are no more red hearts on the PEI driver’s licences. In the summer of 2017, PEI began issuing new health cards. The new health cards do not have a space for the red sticker, but there will be a red heart embossed on the back of the health card if you have indicated on the PEI Intent to Donate Registry that you want to be an organ or tissue donor.

What if I don't want to be an organ or tissue donor?

If you do not want to be an organ or tissue donor, you can indicate this on the PEI Intent to Donate Registry. Islanders can decide to say yes or no to organ donation and yes or no to tissue donation.

Why should I tell my family and friends what my decision is?

Remember to inform members of your family that you have chosen to be an organ and tissue donor (or not), and update them if you change your mind. Health care professionals will consult the PEI Intent to Donate Registry and tell your family of your wishes, but your family will be asked to confirm your intentions. Studies have shown that most families will support your decision if they are aware of what you want. Your next of kin will be involved in the donor screening process after your death, so it is helpful if they are aware of your wishes. 

Who can register to be an organ and tissue donor?

You can consent to be an organ or tissue donor if you are aged 16 or older and fully understand the nature and consequences of your donation. You can change your mind at any time.

Parents cannot provide prior consent for the donation of organs and tissues of children under 16 years of age. Parents can only consent on behalf of their children if and when the opportunity to donate arises. You cannot consent in advance on behalf of someone else.  For more information, read the Human Tissue Donation Act.

If I have a health condition, or if I am on medication, can I still be a donor?

While there are certain criteria that must be met to make sure the organs and tissues are safe to donate, your decision to register should not be based on whether you think you would be eligible or not. Research on the safety of organs and tissues for transplant is being done all the time and criteria changes when new information becomes available.

If you would like to be a donor, you can answer “yes” on the form. When organ or tissue donation becomes a possibility, health care professionals will review your health history and make sure that your organs and tissues are safe and healthy enough for donation.

Is there an age limit to be an organ donor?

No, the health of the donor is more important than the age of the donor when donating organs. The oldest organ donor in Canada was 92. 

How do I register my intention to become an organ or tissue donor?

To register your intention to become an organ or tissue donor, complete the Intent to Donate form and mail it to:

Medicare Office
126 Douses Road
PO Box 3000
Montague, PE
C0A 1R0

As always, you are encouraged to discuss your intention to become and organ and tissue donor with your family.

Who do I contact for more information?

Provincial Organ and Tissue Coordinating Program Manager
95-105 Rochford Street
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
Charlottetown, PE
C1A 7N8
Telephone: (902) 368-5920


Published date: 
March 12, 2020
Health and Wellness

General Inquiries

Department of Health and Wellness
4th Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
Charlottetown, PE   C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-6414
Fax: 902-368-4121